Kiyoshi Kuromiya

The Cardinal celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!


Daisy Castaneda, Senior Writer

Kiyoshi Kuromiya was born in a Japanese American internment camp during World War II.  Kuromiya was born on May 9, 1943 in Wyoming at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center. Both Kuromiya’s parents were born in California and Kuromiya was a third-generation Japanese American and grew up primarily attending Caucasian schools in the Los Angeles suburbs. He was an author and civil rights, anti-war, gay liberation, and HIV/AIDS activist.  In 1962, while at the University of Pennsylvania, Kuromiya was the instigator of the largest antiwar demonstration in Penn’s history, with 2,000 people in attendance.  In 1963, Kuromiya was an aide to Martin Luther King Jr. during the March on Washington when King gave his “I Have A Dream” speech. He was injured during an act of police violence at the State Capitol building in Montgomery, Alabama, while leading black high school students in a voter registration march in 1965. Kuromiya participated in an early homosexual rights to demonstration at Independence Hall, Philadelphia in 1965. In the 1980s and 1990s, he was a pioneering AIDS activist whose participation in the AIDS mobilization effort and helped to redefine the nature of social movement activism and reinvigorate LGBT politics in the AIDS era.